Final client bill
Final client bill

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Final client bill
  • Contentious and non-contentious work
  • When can you render a final bill
  • Amount of your bill
  • Do you have to itemise your bill?
  • Dealing with disbursements
  • Dealing with interim bills on account
  • VAT
  • Does the bill have to be signed?
  • Delivering your bill
  • More...

This Practice Note deals with regulatory requirements and practical issues regarding the form and content of a final bill of costs to a client. It does not relate to inter partes bills or interim bills although it does explain how interim bills should be treated when rendering your final bill. The terms 'bill' and 'invoice' are often used interchangeably; in this Practice Note the term 'bill' is used.

There are no specific statutory or regulatory requirements about the form and content of a final client bill. This does not mean you can draft your bill in whatever form you please. You need to ensure:

  1. you comply with information and other requirements in the SRA Standards and Regulations, which are indirectly applicable to your bill

  2. if the bill is unpaid, you can take action to recover your costs

Contentious and non-contentious work

Some of the requirements in this Practice Note apply to contentious matters only; others apply to non-contentious matters. In reality, it makes little difference to the form and content of your bill but it is important to know the difference. Generally speaking:

  1. contentious business relates to work done in or for the purposes of proceedings begun before a court or an arbitrator

  2. non-contentious business means any business done as a solicitor which is not contentious business 

This Practice Note covers final bills rendered on contentious

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